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Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[1]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[1]Steven Sharif

Evasion moves such as dodging and weaving will be present in Ashes of Creation combat.[2][3][4]

So you see an animation windup that's a telegraph on what's coming; and then you have response actions that you can take as a result of that in order to dodge, weave, move, do whatever. It is both a combination of what your rotation is but also how you have reaction abilities ready to go that you save for certain circumstances that are important.[3]Steven Sharif


Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[8][9]

The general approach that we're kind of taking based on a lot of feedback and just good combat design in general. You know philosophy is that we want to give more agency in the hands of the player and the antithesis of that is locking the player down for really long amounts of time. The sort of concept behind that is like you could make an animation effects as glorious looking as possible but if it's taking away control of the player, none of that really matters. Especially the 100th or thousandth time you're using the spell you're tired of that happening you don't feel powerful: You feel the opposite of powerful. So we're trying to like give a lot of control back to the player while they're using these abilities so they can still control their movements, they can react simultaneously while they're taking actions; and we just want to get overall more of a fluid flow, I guess, of combat. And that's kind of the general design philosophy we're using to approach the overhaul.[8]Tradd Thompson

Most abilities you'll find in Ashes of Creation are capable of being cast while moving. Some of those abilities might slow your movement during the cast, but you can continue to move. Very rarely, and depending on obviously the importance of the ability or the power level of that ability, you might be rooted in place. So, for example, the AoE ability [Chains of Restraint] has a lot going on. It has damage ticking over time, it is an area of effect, it also has a status condition application; and in those instances the player character gets rooted.[14]Steven Sharif
There's a balance in the game design between your movement speed on attack and the movement speed of your opponent. When you have a game that is both PvE centric as well as PvP centric, you have to make sure that combat is blended for both approaches; and we can always run into problems where, if you're significantly hampered in your movement speed, that has an effect on how we expect player versus player engagements to interact; and we don't want to restrict a player's ability to be mobile if they're the target of an attack. And as a result of that we need to make sure that we don't restrict the movement abilities of the player who is doing the attacking as well. So we want it to be relatively free for you to stay with each other. Your opponents move around the battlefield together and if we're hampering you on the attack action, we have to then implement some type of snare, or slow, or cc effect essentially on your opposing target; and that's not the approach we want to take for for PvP.[22]Steven Sharif
Q: If a ranger is super mobile, what are the melee's options in order to catch them?
A: Different class kits will provide different gap closers. They'll provide different mobility skills. They'll have lockdowns. They'll have chains to pull back. They'll have a lot of different things in the rotation. That's part of what an MMORPG experience is. You're not just restricted to three or six skills, you have a rotational suite; and depending on the type of challenges you face is going to help determine which of those rotations you spec into from your skill tree.[23]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Blink Blink.png Instantly teleport a set distance in the direction you are moving.[24][25] - -
Rush rush icon.png Rush toward a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down.[26] - -

Player movement

  • Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[28]
    • A sprinting/dash skill with a cooldown was confirmed to be part of a class kit.[29]
I've instructed design to incorporate a mana consumption that's percentage based for sprinting. So it'll be a similar amount of time that each class, regardless of their mana values, will have in order to sprint and it will not be accessible while in a combat.[28]Steven Sharif
  • There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[30]
  • There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[31]


There are player and spell collision mechanics in Ashes of Creation.[35]

  • Inertia and momentum physics will help prevent blocking doorways/access points. This is based on a character's direction and movement speed, and can be used to push people out of the way.[36][35]


Alpha-2 work-in-progress combat animations and decals.[37]

The intensity of those weapon trailings; how they scale based on the type of weapon, the level of weapon, that you have; but not just the trailing on the weapon per-se but also the ground decals. Like for this heavy weapon, that first strike you see that decal in the ground is- I love that look- and even on the backswing when I hit the ground behind me, it's causing that decal.[37]Steven Sharif

We really wanted to build the combat system to- like i said earlier- be as physical as possible. So we have it very animation driven. Everything is handled based on a reference of animation as opposed to nebulous timings, which allows it to feel very impactful and very responsive.[38]Keenan Reimer
  • Races will not have unique combat animations, but will have unique non-combat animations.[39][40]
We're not going to be having I think unique combat animations. However we will have unique non-combat animations, such as your idle, your walk, your run cycle: things that the combat attacks do not have to blend back into.[39]Steven Sharif

Animation cancelling

Animation cancelling will not be a combat mechanic in Ashes of Creation.[41][42]

Active blocking

Tank active blocking with a Shield in Alpha-2.[43]

The shield version would probably be better but you'd still be able to parry or whatnot with a two-handed weapon, or even maybe a dual wield.[44]Tradd Thompson

Active blocking is a universal skill that applies to all classes.[2][46][44][5]

Active blocking might be an ability that- it's universal, of course it's universal- but it might be consuming mana; and you'll be able to adjust that mana consumption based off of your passive spec into your skill trees. In addition, it might also consume stamina, where that's something we're going to be testing as part of Alpha-2.[46]Steven Sharif
Q: How are you designing encounters around active blocking? Will it be situational use, or would I expect to be laying on my block keybind for most of the fight to prevent getting deleted by bosses?
A: It depends really on the type of adversary you're facing. Some of them are going to have indicators or tells that a big attack is coming. It's an animation wind up where you'll have an opportunity to use active block in very unique situations that are based on timing and additional mitigation for those incoming one-off attacks. In other occasions you'll be able to use it off of rotational cooldowns, or if you're waiting for a particular ability or you're during the use of your Aegis. There's different situations for when active block is a relevant use-case.[48]Steven Sharif
  • Previously the developers had not finalized designs for active blocking and were leaning toward using more traditional buff-oriented universal damage mitigation for the MMO, and were also considering interaction between action-based blocking and a passive block stat.[49][50]

Combat revamp

Alpha-1 split-body melee weapon combat sneak peek.[11]

I can move while swinging on this guy. I can back up then continue to attack him. Just have complete control over my character while attacking.[11]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing based on player feedback.[52][53][9]

  • The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.[54][8]
  • The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.[54]
  • This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.[55]
  • The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.[8]
  • The developers will be testing whether or not to use global cooldowns GCDs on different types of abilities during Alpha-2.[56]

The revamped combat system will feature split-body animations, where the character's upper body can be locked by weapon attack animations while the lower body is free to continue moving.[11][12][13]

You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee.[11]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 combat was focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[13] Alpha-2 combat will include archetypes, significant ability support, augments, split-body combat, weapon attacks, and many additional items, among other things.[57]

Combat targeting

Ranger hybrid combat in Alpha-2.[59]

Our desire has always and continues to be how we can create a mixture of tab target abilities and skill-shot oriented positional, directional-based ability usage and make something cohesive in that design. And I think that what we're achieving with that regard may not fully feel like an action-oriented game, but we've always intended to be more hybrid-oriented, leaning towards tab target. So you're going to see a mixture of abilities that require the targets and that don't; and then you're going to have an option as the player's perspective to utilize an action camera mode, which utilizes a soft target lock feature and our reticle.[60]Steven Sharif

Hard-locked friendly player target.[61]

Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab and action combat in Ashes of Creation.[60][62][63][64][65][66] A toggle button (default Z, but can be re-bound to another key) allows the player to switch between action and tab combat modes.[60][67][54][68][69]

  • The action mode camera is tied to the to the player's reticle (crosshair).[60][70][71]
    • There will likely be a hotkey that when held down will allow free camera movement in action mode.[71]
    • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[72]
  • Targeted skills require either a soft or hard locked target.[60][70]
    • Soft locking is when the reticle moves over a valid target while in action mode. The targeting plate will appear slightly grayed out to indicate that this is a soft-lock target. If the reticle moves away from the target or the target moves away from the reticle, the target is lost.[70]
    • Hard locking is when the player uses right-mouse on a soft-locked target in action mode, or when the player selects a valid target in tab mode. The targeting plate will not be grayed-out to indicate that a hard-lock target is selected. Unlike soft locking, if the target moves out of the reticle, the target is not lost. Tab will still cycle between hard-locked targets in action mode based on proximity priority.[73][70]
Q: What the benefits are for tab versus action. I feel like a lot of people feel like tab is just easier so why would I use action?
A: If you're in a massive brawl, the ability to pick and choose targets that are far in the back line that might might be more advantageous towards tab target users because they're able to click, but the reaction time to acquire a target for a cursor versus acquiring a target for a reticle is much faster and less cumbersome because it doesn't require as many actions on behalf of the user.[76]Steven Sharif

Templated and targeted versions of skills will have different characteristics.[77][67][78][79][80]

Skill progressions, skill point allocation is determined by the player. The player will be able to choose either more tab-target oriented skills or more action-based skills and customize their playable experience to what accommodates their preference. From a balancing standpoint for us developers, we need to make sure that certain abilities house certain functions so that there's a balance between skill shots and tab-target abilities.[79]Steven Sharif
  • Targeted skills will be greyed out if the target is not within a valid range but templated skills will generally require the player to assess the correct range for the skill.[81]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • It may not be possible to be able to fully spec into just action or tab targeted skills. There might be a 75% cap on choosing skills from any one type.[79]
  • For the purposes of balance, certain skill types will be either tab or action oriented skills.[83]
    • Hard CCs may be housed in action oriented skills because they are skill shots that are more difficult to land.[83][79]
    • Softer CC's would be housed in tab-targeted abilities.[83]
As an example: Let's say you're playing a ranged class. You could have an action-oriented power shot in your skill tree or you could have a single target power shot that ramps up and does more damage.[80]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 combat

Alpha-1 early hybrid combat demo.[68]

You'll notice as I go into action mode, I have my reticle and when my reticle hovers over an enemy target, it'll turn red, essentially showing like "hey we know you have a valid target hit" that you can see; and when you press Q you can lock on to that target. You can also hold Tab to alternate between targets. So like that's an important aspect of the combat that we're trying to incorporate, which is mixing and meshing between tab and action, so you still have that action component but also are available to use some of your tab targeted skills.[65]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat was tested in Alpha-1.[65][78]

  • A toggle button (default Z, but can be re-bound to another key) allows the player to switch between action and tab targeted combat modes.[67][54][68][69]
  • The action mode utilizes a targeting reticle and is very close to a third-person action game.[65][68][69][85]
    • The player does not have to be in reticle mode to use an action combat ability.[86]
    If you use an action combat ability that's going to be directional focused, you do not have to be in reticle mode to use that. It will fire where that reticle would be. So if you play by feel and you're in tab target camera mode, you can still utilize your action-oriented skills and abilities.[86]Steven Sharif
    • The reticle will highlight/change color (to red) to indicate if the current target is able to be hit with the currently prepared skill.[65][68]
    • Action combat abilities will not have a lock-on feature but pressing Q while in action mode will lock on to the current target to enable the use of tab-oriented skills in action mode.[67][65]
    Action combat abilities will not have a lock-on feature so to speak. Some of those are going to be skill shot only. However because you can have a mix and match of tab abilities that require a target, you will be able to target lock in action mode as well. Right now that's delegated to the Q key as default, but you can obviously set that up you could put it on you know your left mouse button, or you could put it wherever you want; and when your reticle hovers over a target, it rapidly swaps your target ability and when you press your target lock it will then lock that target; and if you have tab-oriented skills, you can use your tab oriented skills and they will be used against that target.[67]Steven Sharif
    • Holding Tab while in action mode will alternate between targets.[65]
    • Pressing right-click while in action mode will switch to tab mode for the currently highlighted target.[68]
  • The tab mode (MMO mode) facilitates tab targeted combat.[68][69] A tab-targeted ability requires a target in order to utilize that skill.[67][85]
    • Pressing left-click in tab mode will attack the target (with the currently selected weapon).[68]
    • There will be a "target of target" capability on the user interface.[87]


The developers are testing different approaches to accommodate varying hitboxes between the races.[88]

  • There may be a single unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special collision rules as opposed to having different sized hitboxes.[88]

More than likely we'll have some sort of unified or unified-ish hitbox. But again it's going to probably have a unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special sort of collision rules based on them as opposed to kind of just making it smaller for one and not the other.[88]Jeffrey Bard

There aren't separate types of hitbox categories in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG as there were in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse.[88]

We don't have separate types of hitbox categories, for example. There's no head hit box in the MMORPG like there was in APOC. So from a critical standpoint you're not going to see a greater risk of critting for a larger hitbox.[88]Steven Sharif

Directional attacks

There will be directional attacks (back attacks, flanking attacks, frontal attacks) that deal additional damage depending on the positional context of the attack.[89]


Weapon attack cone in Alpha-1.[68]

As I attack I am hitting multiple numbers of these opponents; and that's important because all weapons, regardless of whether you are in reticle mode or tab-targeting mode will be able to have a action-based type weapon attack. Not active skill, but weapon attack.[68]Steven Sharif

All weapons have a forward attack cone, regardless of being in tab or action mode.[68]

Polearms for example will have a much wider arc and much further out. Daggers will have a more fine-tuned arc, so you have to be more precise in that regard.[68]Steven Sharif

This is described as a weapon attack not an active skill.[68]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:19:24).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:06:02).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (51:17).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:34:12).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, November 19, 2021 (50:38).
  6. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:24:06).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (1:05:08).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (27:41).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Video, February 26, 2021 (6:17).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (46:30).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (31:22).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Interview, June 13, 2021 (4:12).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:13:05).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (59:47).
  15. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:17:13).
  16. Livestream, May 8, 2017 (43:30).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (55:32).
  18. Video, December 23, 2021 (23:53).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Livestream, October 14, 2022 (48:45).
  20. 20.0 20.1 stevenclarification.png
  21. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:30:40).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (49:42).
  23. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (51:28).
  24. Video, April 28, 2023 (4:40).
  25. progression.png
  26. Video, May 25, 2017 (0:02).
  27. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:11:29).
  28. Reddit - Developer response to unique ability visuals.
  29. autorun.jpg
  30. Livestream, May 4, 2018 (51:57).
  31. Livestream, December 15, 2017 (1:35:38).
  32. Livestream, May 31, 2023 (1:10:08).
  33. Video, December 23, 2021 (7:05).
  34. 35.0 35.1 collision.jpg
  35. Interview, March 27, 2020 (15:20).
  36. 37.0 37.1 Video, June 30, 2022 (20:29).
  37. 38.0 38.1 Video, June 30, 2022 (21:19).
  38. 39.0 39.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (53:33).
  39. Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:12:56).
  40. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:09:37).
  41. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (1:05:11).
  42. 43.0 43.1 Video, January 27, 2023 (35:51).
  43. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Video, December 2, 2022 (34:41).
  44. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Video, December 2, 2022 (16:55).
  45. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 Video, January 27, 2023 (40:24).
  46. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (15:22).
  47. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:13:29).
  48. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:22:46).
  49. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:19:50).
  50. shieldactiveblockA1.png
  51. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:14:50).
  52. steven-combat-revamp-update.png
  53. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 steven-combat-revamp-update-2.png
  54. Interview, February 7, 2021 (49:18).
  55. Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:05:20).
  56. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:11:41).
  57. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:16:17).
  58. Video, September 30, 2022 (17:03).
  59. 60.0 60.1 60.2 60.3 60.4 60.5 Livestream, April 28, 2023 (53:58).
  60. Video, May 31, 2023 (11:20).
  61. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (49:45).
  62. steven-hybrid.png
  63. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:16:04).
  64. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 65.4 65.5 65.6 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (22:34).
  65. Livestream, November 16, 2017 (30:45).
  66. 67.0 67.1 67.2 67.3 67.4 67.5 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (27:43).
  67. 68.00 68.01 68.02 68.03 68.04 68.05 68.06 68.07 68.08 68.09 68.10 68.11 68.12 68.13 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:15:39).
  68. 69.0 69.1 69.2 69.3 Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:09:51).
  69. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 70.4 Video, September 30, 2022 (17:00).
  70. 71.0 71.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (59:21).
  71. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (26:11).
  72. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (49:16).
  73. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (52:33).
  74. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (48:10).
  75. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (54:35).
  76. 77.0 77.1 77.2 77.3 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (41:06).
  77. 78.0 78.1 Newsletter, 2018-08-7
  78. 79.0 79.1 79.2 79.3 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (37:57).
  79. 80.0 80.1 80.2 80.3 80.4 80.5 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:07:59).
  80. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:11:07).
  81. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:12:50).
  82. 83.0 83.1 83.2 83.3 83.4 83.5 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:11:05).
  83. steven-action-tab-attack-range.png
  84. 85.0 85.1 Interview, April 15, 2019 (38:03).
  85. 86.0 86.1 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (27:10).
  86. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (40:19).
  87. 88.0 88.1 88.2 88.3 88.4 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (1:15:59).
  88. 89.0 89.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:11:25).
  89. class cleaving.png